“Dead” Email Subscribers And 11 Things You Can Do About Them

Leah Mustoe List Building

They're not actually "dead"...

"Dead" email subscribers is the term we use for email subscribers who do "nothing" with your email when they receive it.

They're email subscribers who haven't opened your emails, clicked on anything or taken any action at all.

​Having these "dead" subscribers hanging around your email list is not good.

In fact, it's really, really bad because it affects your email deliverability & means you're more likely to end up in the SPAM.

​Having too many disengaged subscribers WILL affect your emails getting into the inboxes of those that DO actually like you & read your stuff. 

And that sucks...

So What is Email Deliverability?

It's where you measure the success of your emails reaching your subscribers inbox, without them "bouncing" or ending up in the SPAM folder.

Internet Service Providers (ISP's) look at open rates. If they see that you're getting a lot of low open rates & unopen rates, they WILL block your emails going through.

 If they see that your subscribers are not engaging with you, your brand or your content, this lack of engagement affects the future deliverability of your emails. 

​Don't damage your sending reputation by trying to keep subscribers on your list who are clearly "not" interested anymore.

​I know we all like to see large numbers of people on our lists!

There's something about seeing a few thousand people that screams "success"​ & makes us feel good...

... but having a large number of people just sitting there, not engaging with us is so much worse than having a small list.

A smaller list of highly engaged & highly targeted people, sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting to see what you come out with next is sooooooooooooo much better for you & our business!

11 Things You Can Do To Avoid "Dead" Email Subscribers being on Your Email List. Check it out here!

Click to Tweet

You're also wasting your hard earned money.

You're paying for the privilege because most autoresponders charge you per 100, 1000 etc subscribers, so all the time you have people on your list who aren't engaging, you're paying for them - so STOP Right NOW!

But what can you do about it?

How can you change this & stop this from happening?

Well I've made a list of 11 things you can do to eliminate "dead" email subscribers...

Don't wait for a certain number of people to be on your list before you start engaging & emailing them

I did this twice & I was a fool lol.

I tried waiting to get a certain amount of people on my list BEFORE I sent them anything - BAD!!!​

Put a series of emails in place straight away for when people sign up as this gets the engagement going immediately. 

People are super excited & are likely to be the MOST engaged straight after signing up.

You're fresh in their mind, they may have signed up for a FREEBIE, which they're excited to get their hands on.

This is the ideal opportunity for you to engage, give them some awesome, valuable content & WOW them so they stick around!​

Monitor your list carefully

You need to be keeping an eye on your open rates, click through rates, bounces, unsubscribes etc, so that you can take any necessary action that's required. 

By monitoring these stats closely, you're able to take the relevant action & do something about it. ​

If you're getting lots of unsubscribes, then maybe you need to look at the content you're putting in your emails & mix it up a bit.

If you're getting lots of unopens, maybe you need to play around with your email subject lines.

Simple tweaks & changes, such as different content, changing your opt-in form colours, wording, images etc can all make a difference & need to be tested, to see whether they make your clicks & open rates better.

be relevant & don't be boring

It's important to stay relevant to your audience's wants & needs. 

When a person subscribes to you, it's likely they signed up for a FREE email course or PDF report, or some other kind of gift on a certain topic, which they want to learn & know more about.

​You want to make sure you're keeping your content relevant to that topic & not going off on a tangent about things that are of no interest to them. 

That's not to say you can't branch out onto other things, but be mindful of what your subscriber originally signed up for.

You also don't want to come across as boring.

Make your emails entertaining & personal & use your own voice & personality.

People will resonate with you & engage with you more, if you're YOU!

A great way to keep your email content fun is by holding contests, giving away freebies & asking questions ​to your subscribers so they can respond & get involved...

always send a "welcome" email & a follow up sequence

As I mentioned to you a moment ago, people are most interested in what you have to say immediately after they've subscribed.

This is when they're super excited & want to know more...

It's the perfect time to send a friendly & warm "Welcome" email​, letting your new subscriber know all about you & your brand.

It's where you can take advantage of their excitement & share your best content with them, to keep them hooked & coming back for more!

Let people know what they can expect from you, how many times you'll email them, what kind of content they'll receive, to really introduce them properly. ​

 ​Follow on with some amazing follow up emails, including your best blog posts, videos, reports etc...really give them a feel of what they can expect in the future!

​After giving some great content, you can also lead into sharing your products & services with them & because you've built a relationship, it won't be scammy & gross!

use non-spammy subject lines & make sure email content is relating to the subject line

Writing your email subject lines can be a stressy situation.

You want to make sure they're not too short, too long, they make sense​...

​There are certain words that are just asking for you to be sent to the "SPAM" folder & here are just a few of them for you to avoid:

  • Click below 
  • Open
  • Opt-In
  • Million
  • Sale now on
  • Free
  • $$$
  • Guaranteed

There are many others, but I'd be here all day if I typed up all the words that sound spammy!

You want to make sure you're not luring people in with a headline that is falsely advertising incorrect info.

Make sure your headline doesn't over exaggerate something ​or make your email out to be something it's not. 

Don't make your subject line "offer" something which isn't true or a true reflection of what that "something" actually is.

You can get into big trouble doing things like this.

Also, be sure to make the content of your email relevant to the subject line...

I receive many emails with an exciting headline about one topic & then the content of the email is about something completely different.

Don't do this...​

Always stay on topic & make the content match the email subject line. ​

regularly "clean" out your list

​It is important to regularly "clean-out" your email list of all the inactive subscribers. 

​Anybody who hasn't clicked, opened, purchased or taken a form of action within the last 120 days counts as a "dead" subscriber - at least it does to me...

I know it can seem disheartening getting rid of people when it can take so long to build a list...

... but if they're not doing anything, it's pointless them being there & they're taking up space that someone else ​could have.

Someone who really wants to be there to absorb your content & engage with you all the time.

Don't think about it too much & just do it - you'll feel better when you've spring cleaned your list.

You'll feel great knowing you can now go and get some new subscribers to engage with.

That being said, there is a step you can do before removing them for good & it's #7 on the list of things you can do below:

put together re-engagement campaigns & re-build relationships

Developing re-engagement campaigns to try & re-build relationships with your subscribers is something you absolutely should do before removing them completely.

Quite often, people get busy and in the array of busyness in their inbox, they haven't seen your emails OR they may have simply just gotten bored with what you've been sending. ​

There is a way to try & get them interested again & that's to offer them a new lead magnet (FREEBIE) on something different.

Entice them with a new free gift​ & put them into a new follow up series talking about a new & exciting topic.

You'll be surprised how changing what you're talking about & mixing it up will make people re-opt in & get them excited about your content again. 

make it clear people can unsubscribe

People think that by highlighting the fact your subscribers can "unsubscribe", you're encouraging them to do so.

In a way I guess this is true - if you're making it clear as day that by "clicking here" you can unsubscribe​, of course you're drawing attention to it. 

But it comes back to the whole - you only want people on your email list who actually want to be there​. 

By giving clear instructions within every email you send on how your audience can unsubscribe, you will get less complaints & hassle when someone simply no longer wants to receive your emails anymore.

The last thing you want to do is get people hett up because they don't know how to remove themselves easily.

always include a "call to action" to keep people engaged

One thing I've been told over & over again by several experts & people I look up to is this...

...Always include a Call To Action in every email!

Whether it's a link to a video, blog post, sales page, article etc...

... Always making sure you're subscribers have the opportunity to click and engage is extremely important. ​

Getting them just to read an email isn't' enough - they want to do something, they want to take action. ​

So give it to them & get them to "Click".

Get them to "Read More", "Learn More", "Buy Now"...

keep emails short

People are busy, they haven't the time or the patience to read loooooooooong emails!

I know that sometimes, we have just got to tell people something amazing & it ​makes the email a bit lengthy. 

The odd email here & there that's longer than usual is absolutely fine.

Just don't make a habit of sending long winded emails every day/week/month etc.

Of course this all comes down to testing & what industry you're in. 

Depending on what niche or market you're in, sending long emails full of information may be just what your audience is after, so nothing is set in stone, it's about testing out long vs short emails. 

I know that for me, shorter emails always seem to be read & clicked on more. 

As long as the content within your email is relevant, to the point. entertaining & you're not waffling on - you should be fine whatever the length. 

invite subscribers to interact with you

This is one of the most important ways to keep your subscribers interactive with you. 

You need to be letting your subscribers interact with you wherever they can.

For example, say you're going to be doing a LIVE Facebook feed & you want your subscribers to watch the invaluable content you're going to be sharing...

... send them an email invite where they can click a link to your Facebook Profile/Page/Group or wherever your LIVE is going to take place. ​

You can also do this when you are carrying out webinars, bootcamps, seminars, ​events etc!

Your subscribers want to be involved & want to know what you're up to & using email to share this information with them is very powerful. ​

Now it's time for you to look at your email list & implement some of or all of these 11 things...

... OR if you're just starting out & don't have an email list yet - save this post & keep these practises in mind for keeping those "dead" subscribers at bay!

​Have an awesome day 

Leah xx​

I always say to people I have the two best jobs in the world. Being a stay at home mum to my two young boys, alongside working as an Internet Marketer. I have a huge passion for all things related to list building, audience building & email marketing, so you'll find a lot of content on my blog around these topics!

Leah xx

I love to hear your comments!